Friday, August 2, 2019

Submissive Spirit Brought By Obedient Action?

I sent this prompt out in the middle of June to a few friends of mine-and Amy, Penelope took up my challenge.Then, as a result  of  Amy's post, Ella - and never published my own.  I initially discovered this quote months ago and have had it rolling around in my head for a long time.  I have written this post several times in my head, on paper and even in blogger, yet it never came to express what I wanted to.

It always amazing me, yet it really shouldn't, how people tend to get their defenses up when it comes to certain words- in this case I am thinking of obey or obedience.  I say it shouldn't surprise me as 8 years ago the word 'sub' rubbed me the wrong way.  As we evolved in our dynamic ( evolved in reference to B and myself- I do not mean to imply that those who started out in Dd and don't identify with the Dom/sub dynamic have not evolved) I began to have a greater understanding how using the word 'sub' did not have negative connotations.  As a friend of mine recently said to me, words DO matter and they ARE important.  The words we choice have a universal meaning, if I balk at certain word, I now tend to examine the deeper meaning as to why I do so.

Obedience or obey is not something I have ever balked at.  The definition is clear and at no point in the definition does it say it is prerequisite to be mindless to obey or be obedient in nature. I have always been obedient for the most part.  I am not a rule breaker. Well, not in any great way.  I do drive over the speed limit at times- marginally.  I did drink before I was of age.  But as a whole, I have always followed rules.  The one exception would really be 'conventional norms' or rules of society.  But let's face it those are grey areas- left up to interpretation.

Which brings me to submission and obedience and how I interpret the difference or their symbiotic relationship within our D/s dynamic.   When I brought Dd to Barney, I had it in my mind that he would set those rules and I would obey them- or face physical consequences.  I can't honestly say I am a spanko, but the idea of his authority over me did and does have a great, positive effect. Well, it didn't really turn out that way in the beginning.  And as frustrating as that was at the time, I am now so grateful it didn't.

While B was trying to figure out this entire Dd- D/s thing, I figured out myself ( sort of, let's be honest that will always be an ongoing process).  I learned what it meant to submit without being obedient.  Not that I wasn't obedient, but there was not a great deal of things I was required to obey for the first few years.  He would imply things he prefered and I would 'jump' on the opportunity to submit to it.  If I did not there would be no consequence- other than my disappointment in passing it by.  During that time however, I rarely did miss the opportunity.

I would be out and out lying if I told you I wasn't disappointed that the obey or else aspect was lacking in our dynamic.  Or at least the tone of that.  Let's face it there is an erotic vibe that comes from knowing deep down that there will be a consequence to our action or in action - if you are a submissive wife by choice that is.  At least in theory - the reality can be quite different when it is time to 'pay'.

The required obedience in our case is where the power exchange comes into play.  To me it is that very exchange that has the erotic charge.  Knowing I will be held accountable for his rules, and expectations is what brings me to him.  The observation and maintaining of my obedience by B is key to my submission.  For me it brings authenticity to our dynamic.  It is what sets our dynamic a part from play.  It allows me the freedom to know that my submission is paramount to B.  It proves to me that B wants me to be submissive and in turn wants me to be ME.

My submission is second nature to me.  In fact for the most part I talk myself OUT of being submissive when I feel we are 'off' ( yeah, I know makes absolutely NO sense).  When I feel my obedience to his rules and expectations are expected but he is not willing to fortify that thought through action, I tend to close up.  I tend to let my submissive heartset be gagged.  I tell myself, ' it doesn't matter'.  Yet it does.  If not to B at the time, to me.

When I chose to not be submissive, anticipate his needs and act upon my instincts I create my own barrier between us.  I shut down my authentic self, often telling myself it is safer to do so. When I do  we return to parallel lives.  I continue to obey what I should but I do not allow that to permeate my inner core and this does not allow me to live my life to the fullest.  By not living my life to the fullest in this aspect we cannot connect the way we should.

Obedience to me is an outward action- much like the quote states.  I can go through the motions and to the naked eye all is well in our dynamic.  To the experienced eye, the heart, it is hollow.  Sure things do get done, words are respectful but the deep connection to self and each other tends to be lacking.  Often it takes B a while to pick up on this.  Another cannot always see what is in your heart.  And to me that is the difference between submission and obedience, submission is from the heart.  I can be told to clean the toilet (lame example) and obey, or I can be told and submit.  The action is not important.  I could be told to service my husband and obey - detached, holding a part of me back, unwilling to feel what I know is there- or I could submit and give to him heart and soul while 'servicing'.  The act regardless of what it is, becomes pleasurable to the heart because it is an opportunity to submit and exchange power by doing so, as opposed to just going through the motions.  The act becomes about what HE wants and fulfilling that as opposed to truly being about me, which in all honesty ends up fulfilling me because of that fact.

Confusing isn't it? LOL.  For me his required obedience now maintains a level of my submission that is at its core most basic and perhaps primal.  It isn't what drives me forward, I do that.  I own  my submission.  It does however help cultivate my submission.  His required obedience of me proves to me that ttwd and the exchange of power within it is important.  From there I can be free to bask and grow in my submission, knowing it is accepted by him and therefore removing all fear and barriers I create in my head/heart to be me.

"As an individual submits to authority or power, there exists a particular bond between the one who submits and the one in power. This brings to focus that submission comes from within unlike obedience"

 I have discovered, our relationship works best when my obedience and submission are working together.  It works best when it is symbiotic.  When they don't, well the obedience is generally key to get me back to where I need to be.  There is a lot to be said for going through the motions (at times) until I am back on track.  As for B, I have observed, when we are not on track my submission is required not long after my obedience to get him where he needs to be.  He is no longer 'the untrained' eye, and obedience can only get him so far without him feeling my heart is in it too.

On a more personal, potentially self involved level,  I have felt most free, when my submission is strongest regardless of  demanded obedience- this happened about 3 or 4 years into our dynamic.  Once B started to demand more of me ( yet didn't always follow through if I messed up) , my submission took off in ways I didn't believe it could.  Or perhaps to the outside world in ways they always saw, but it meant so much more to me internally.

So all this blah, blah, blah to really say:  To me, the difference  between obeying and submitting within the context of our dynamic is -

*and then some


  1. Thanks Bleue.

    I gather by your recent posts that you are not have a great time of things, so I appreciate the time you took as well.


  2. Hi Willie, I've been waiting for this post :) This is a great and thought provoking topic and I enjoyed reading everyone's perspective.

    This is an awesome post and very well said. You put a lot of thought into this and I enjoyed reading this. I agree, submission comes from within and obedience is outward behaviours.

    I love what you said about submission and obedience working together. I do think the two work together and feed off each other.

    Much love


    1. Hey Roz.

      Thanks for being mine, and many others, faithful commentor. I have read your comments on the other posts as well.

      So for the new point of submission and obedience working together, when things are flowing in the right direction both are extremely easy to maintain! When they are not flowing, we tend to rely on one more than the other, depending on who we are looking at. LOL


  3. Well you beat me to it. I still haven't figured out what to write on this subject. Now after reading yours, I feel like you spoke for me. I love your growth and your honesty. It feels funny to be commenting when I am chatting with you right now, lol. I wish only the best for you and B.

    1. Well it isn't as if I didn't give you plenty of time!!! LOL. I found my ideas of what to write and how to write it kept changing. Throw in an insanely busy four weeks since suggesting this, and there you go- poof! empty head. Empty head is not a great place to start writing from. Most likely and empty head because my overly full head short circuited!

      I suppose it would seem funny to write in a comment what you have already discussed with me in a chat. LOL

      I look forward to reading whatever it is you decide to share, on this topic or anyone.

  4. I was right when I called you Wise Willie ... Slacker or not. :)

  5. Well written Willikins. You are certainly less of a slacker than I when it comes to writing down your thoughts!

    So, our present dynamic is drastically different from yours, yet so many things at their deepest level are the same. I have never been an obedient person. Even as a tiny person, I can remember narrowing my eyes and saying "WHY", fully expecting a convincing answer from whatever adult was requesting my obedience. It wasn't rebellion. I really wanted a reason. Show me that you care about me and I'll fall over backwards to please you. Only some of the grown ups in my life figured it out. Does MM require my obedience? Sure, on some levels but I rarely think about those things. They are so basic to who he and I are now that I do them naturally. Its how submissive is done in the little things, the daily connecting things. He does the same for me, though with a different attitude. He works to please me but in a protective, keep an eye on me way. Long long ago when this was all new and the word "obey" was thrown around, Sara told me to try "cooperate" in my head instead. It works, b/c the essence of desire to please is caught up in the actual decision to obey or cooperate with someone else's desire...knowing full well that in my marriage, that desire is always going to be for my good and not anything selfish on his part. If he always (and yeah who is perfect) has my best interest at heart, why not cooperate? Broken record here...but our goal is still unity, finding that oneness in the mystery of being married to each other. Unity requires that we ask things of each other, talk things through and expect cooperation that goes both ways.

    1. Well HELLO Susie!

      Okay I can't act shocked as I knew you were going to comment. LOL. And in comparison to you writing down your thoughts? (snort) Maybe I'll just keep coming up with topics so you'll be 'forced' to write down your thoughts- you know in your 'spare time'.

      I agree with you on the obedience thing, for the most part. I just basically do whatever is 'asked' of me, without much thought. But as you said, our relationship-dynamics are vastly different. There are times when things required of me take me beyond my comfort zone, but more because of fear of how vulnerable I will be, how exposed my inner core will be and what will happen after the fact, then the act itself. And before anyone gets all excited thinking that the 'act' is some titillating X-rated thing, those are a tad easier than say, ' Tell me how you feel about...." LOL. The transparency of letting him in completely, while exhilarating, can be terrifying! Which I understand sounds ridiculous after so many years of ttwd. For us it has taken us to areas in which I don't think I fully grasped, or read about (because how does one write about some of this stuff and depict an accurate picture as it is so subjective, and personal to those directly involved) .

      Ah Sara, how I miss her voice of reason! I just posted a link for Ava from a long forgotten post, and there she was, validating my feelings while helping along. I think for the most part I am obedient because I have a deep desire to please ( probably based out of some insecurity drilled into my head...LMAO moreso that me be a complete saint- because I know my audience I thought I'd throw that in there.) I know B's desire is primarily for my/our good, or that is often his focus. I don't mind though when in a good place he puts his desires first, provided it is a conscious decision. I know I'm difficult!

      I have come to realize that because of how I am wired, providing him with his desires,especially if they cost me a bit of mine, that allows me to be free to feel the oneness created.

      Despite our different dynamics, the last sentence of your comment is almost bang on for us too. I might change cooperation to participation for us though.

      Thanks as always for your unwavering support, that requires you to have to remember your google password at times!

      All my love,

  6. Hi Wilma,
    I have been looking forward to this post. As always it is deep and self analytical, which makes it of great value to me. My mind is very analytical--which can be tiresome but it's who I am! One challenge I have in our dynamic is that my husband is not naturally authoritarian and he really never "demands" anything of me. We seem to go through cycles where we gather momentum in our dynamic, which is great for me, but then life interrupts in various ways and we have a gap, and then it seems we are starting over at a point much behind where we were. This is hard for me. You speak of how Barney's required obedience maintains and cultivates your submission. We are not there. My submissive heart desires that. I can't expect my husband to magically transform into a different person, I know. I need to adapt to him, but I am actually very goal oriented where he is someone who likes letting things evolve organically. He will occasionally declare something he wants me to do, but then seemingly forgets all about it. I initially begin to do it, but then it becomes difficult to keep it up since he's not "watching". I wonder if he really cares! And if he doesn't then why should I? Ugh.
    The times when we have pursued our dynamic uninterrupted, and gathered steam to the point where I experience a freeing of my submissive heart are such high points for me that I wish I could live there.
    Anyway, know that your posts are appreciated!

    1. Ah Ava,
      ( this comment will be in two portions as I am too wordy for blogger to accept it. LOL)
      The comment that saved this blog, at least for a bit longer anyway. Not that I didn't appreciate anyone else's comment- I appreciate all who read and then take the time to comment. I just miss the interaction of a conversation on a post in the comments. A few friends of mine and I have been discussing this a great deal lately. So your comment and it's subject matter is much appreciated ( I can wrestle a comment out of Susie any time- she knows it is better to print it here than have me talk her ear off over the phone...LOL...Kidding love you Susie <3).

      Okay so where to begin. As you have already assumed I'm sure, my mind is forever analyzing everything. I'd say it's tiring too, but truthfully, this is how I've lived my entire life so I know nothing different. Barney on the other hand appears completely exhausted as a result! lol.

      When we first started ttwd, B was not an authoritarian per se either. He used to do what I refer to as 'the ask-tell". It isn't the vocabulary Dd/D/s novellas are made of, but that was and great deal of time still IS how he informs me of what he wants/needs. We have had many a conversation about tweaking his 'requests' one way or another so the level of importance comes through, but essentially I have accepted the way it is between us. Would it be more effective personally if his delivery was different from the onset? Most likely, but the reality is, what he wants done is still in the message, regardless of how it is delivered.

      Yes, B's required obedience does *help* to maintain my submission or culitivate it- but we weren't always there either...and aren't always there. Currently for example he is on a big push to get me back to where he wants me to be. But the reality is if I am personally 'stuck' he can only do so much. As I said, I own my submission and sometimes I wish I didn't because I can be very stubborn emotionally ( zip it Susie) in an attempt to protect myself from disappointment- all the while not living in the actual moment- robbing myself in turn.

      (continued below)

  7. (part deux )

    You and I sound very similar. I have said to B in the past that 'waiting for things to happen' seems like existing rather than living life. I too have many plans, and see where I want to be or what I want to accomplish. B does too, but he's take on things is more wait and see until we have very little time to do so. Or as a family member said, " A sprinter not a long distance runner". B has gotten 'better' over the years because he has seen that planning in advance and preventing 'falls', regardless of where HE feels we are is much easier to live with and recover from than the constant rebuild. But I will be honest Ava, we are 8 years in and this is still a bone of contention for us. He's changed a great deal in this area, but the struggle still rears its ugly head. I'm afraid I'm not much help because history still echos in my head when I see shades of this happening again. I am trying very hard to not say anything or bring my concerns up in a less accusatory way, but sadly I don't always succeed.

    I know all about the 'watching' and 'does he really care'. B and I have had many a discussion about this very thing over the years. I also am VERY familiar with the 'seemingly forgets about it'. B has developed strategies to help him remember, or rather help me help him remember ( as suggested by a good friend). I will text him when I have completed what he has asked, for example. I have also writen to him the day of declaration about how those things made me feel. We *try* to talk every morning about how the day before went - specifically about interactions or not regarding they dynamic portion of our relationship.

    I know it is so difficult to maintain something inside of you that you believe is not important for your partner to see. TRUST me I know! I have found personally, that I have to silence those words of doubt in my mind, stop policing B and his actions, and only focus on how doing those things, acting a certain way, etc...makes ME feel. I am not a big , blame the sub, believer, so please don't take it as that, but it is MY need which is stronger, so I need to more than meet him half way when things seem to be on pause. I need to be a big girl and own my submission because as much as B loves it, he rarely feels the need to MAKE me submissive. His part ( in our relationship) is to create an environment that makes me feel secure enough to allow me to exist unguarded. And trust me that is challenging, especially with history seemingly repeating itself.

    I wish we could live in 'the zone' all the time to. Reality is much more difficult! *BUT* if we try and see what is there versus what was and isn't, we can probably see that all is not lost. I can't recall how long you have been in your dynamic Ava, but here is a post I wrote about 5 months into ours. As usual the comments that follow are probably better than the post itself. Don't give up hope, and most importantly don't give up *YOU* because you feel he's not actively partaking. Hold on to who you are and what you need- if you do that there is always a glimmer!

    Thanks so much for your comment. You honestly did save me ( that and a comment from a dear friend of mine pointing out the comments on this post) from deleting this blog and moving on.


  8. Hi Willie,
    We've been at it 4 and 1/2 years! Should have it all together by now, don't you think? Gosh I'm certainly glad I commented then! I really hope you do not delete your blog as I am going to be reading through it from the beginning. I have read quite a bit of it already, and I believe there are a lot of "nuggets" in it of value to me. Thanks for the "Panning for Gold" recommendation. It's always encouraging to switch focus and look for the positive elements, in any area of life! Good message!
    Actually, the process of writing the comment led me to a realization. I need to drop my own approach--Attain and achieve! Work hard! Seek intensity!--and submit to my husband's personality in our dynamic. This will be a challenge! I believe he is the God-ordained leader in our marriage which just proves that God certainly has a sense of humor!
    So, thank you for the clarity, and for the inspiration, and for the laugh!! I would love to see you post more frequently! Many appreciate your blog for your wisdom, your wit, and your humor, I am sure!
    Love, Ava

    1. I'll make you a deal, if I decide to remove my blog ( I'd never completely delete it as it is a personal journal as well), I will give you private access to read it- all that requires is an email address from you.

      As for 'being at it for 4 1/2 years- should have it all together by now don't you think"...LMAO! Oh Ava, if only that were true! We humans are ever changing, and as a new 'layer' is revealed (Barney loves that term) more things are exposed. One person grows, but it doesn't mean the other one does simultaneously.

      I've discovered along the way, that while ttwd is about relationships and dynamics within them, it is really also a personal journey that takes us to each other. That is the challenge. What is holding me back? What is holding him back? Why do I gravitate towards xyz...? Why does he? What makes me tick? What makes him tick? I think we often discover the answers to these questions, the challenge becomes acting on them, or even giving voice to them. Until we do those things individually, ttwd becomes a real struggle at times. The power exchange, regardless of how each individual couple perceives theirs, becomes a tug of war between KNOWING what to do, and FEAR of doing - for both people.

      Once again I appreciate your comment- even if I am not so sure 'many appreciate my blog'. I used to enjoy blogging beyond the writing process, because I felt I was part of a bigger community and support group. It made me feel included. It does the complete opposite now.

      We shall see. I will keep you informed.

  9. i finally got round to this. you're not the only tardy one..

    It's almost like how they say to smile even when you're not feeling great, and eventually the action influences the mind and heart and it's almost inevitable that after a while you'll start feeling better.

    so it is for submission and obedience as you've said so in your post. great post.

  10. Well, now I'm tardy in responding too! lol

    I suppose it could all be seen as a version of 'fake it 'til you make it'. One foot in front of the other until we soften ever so slightly?

    Thanks for stopping by Fondles.